Mini College 2011 Archive - Classes

Classes offered during Mini College 2011:

2010 Congressional Redistricting: Let's Gerrymander Kansas

  • Michael Lynch, Assistant Professor, Political Science

After the 2010 Census results are released, it will be time for states to redraw their congressional districts. In Kansas this redistricting may lead to major changes in existing congressional districts. After a brief discussion of how the process works, students will use demographic data to adjust Kansas districts. Students will have the opportunity to impartially redistrict Kansas or can use old-fashioned gerrymandering to help create a Kansas congressional delegation that is more to their liking.


A Day at the University of Kansas Field Station: Taking Science Outside (ALL DAY EVENT)

  • Helen Alexander, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Scott W. Campbell, Research Associate, Kansas Biological Survey
  • Bryan Foster, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Val Smith, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Ford Ballantyne, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

For more than 60 years, the KU Field Station, encompassing more than 3,400 acres, has provided a venue supporting a wide variety of field-based research activities as well as education at the University of Kansas. Scientists in particular, but also engineers, architects, artists, writers and others, including many students, frequent the field station for purposes ranging from conducting large-scale experiments to finding inspiration from nature. Come take a series of "field trips" with KU faculty researchers to learn about current projects.


An Illustrated Egyptian Hieroglyphic Scroll of the Afterlife

  • Paul Mirecki, Professor, Religious Studies

The University of Kansas has in its rare book collection an ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll dating from about 950 BCE. The scroll was found in a tomb in central Egypt and acquired by KU in 2000. Similar to the famous Egyptian Book of the Dead, the scroll’s images are accompanied by hieroglyphic texts that describe the dangers and traps the soul encounters as it proceeds toward the rising sun during the 12 hours of the first night after burial. The scroll was made circa 950 BCE by priestly scribes who worked in the funerary services of the large and famous Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt. The scroll provides interesting parallels to religious beliefs among Jews and Christians later described in the Bible.


Ancient Sex 101: Practices and Attitudes of Ancient Greeks and Romans

  • John Younger, Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Classics

In ancient Greece, marriages were arranged, husbands were 15 years older than their wives, and a woman bore children until her mid-20s. For the Romans, marriage was restricted by class; elite women were called by their family names and were passed around like hats amongst the powerful men. In both cultures prostitution was everywhere -- both female and male, and a man could have sex with anyone except a "proper" woman and a citizen male. Come learn about the sexual proclivities of our ancestors.


Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game

  • Michael J. Zogry, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Anetso, a centuries-old Cherokee ball game, is a vigorous, sometimes violent activity that rewards speed, strength, and agility. A precursor to lacrosse, Cherokee people still play it today. Observers also note that it is the focus of several linked ritual activities. Is it a sport, or a religious ritual? Could it be both? Why has it survived through centuries of upheaval and change? Drawing from his book on the subject, Dr. Zogry will consider these questions as he provides a multimedia introduction to anetso.


Astrophysics in Antarctica

  • Dave Besson, Professor, Physics and Astronomy

The Antarctic ice sheet covers an area approximately equal to the United States, with an average thickness of 1.5 miles. The remoteness of the continent, and the exceptional purity of both the ice sheet as well as the air mass above Antarctica, create a pristine environment for viewing the Cosmos. We will describe some of the unique science that occurs in this environment, taking examples from cosmology, astrophysics, and biology, supplemented by slides from the presenter's experience on the Antarctic plateau.


Beginner's Yoga

  • Sorcha Hyland, Yoga Instructor

This 75-minute class will start with an introduction to the concept of yoga and meditation. Participants will then be led through detail-oriented basic yoga postures that will combine breath, movement and body alignment. We will focus on poses that will leave you feeling refreshed and balanced. Please bring a mat or a blanket with you.


Behind the Scenes at a Campus Art Museum

  • Susan Earle, Curator, Spencer Museum of Art

What makes an art museum tick? How does the Spencer Museum of Art at KU do its job? Join Dr. Susan Earle, curator at the Spencer Museum, for a look behind the scenes at the inner workings of a renowned campus art museum. Topics will include how exhibitions are organized, how we decide which objects to display in the galleries, treating objects that need repair, working with living artists, and proposing works of art for purchase. This session takes place “behind” and in front of original works of art in the Spencer Museum.


Communication Disorders in Adults: Aging, Strokes, and Hearing Loss

  • SPLH Faculty, Speech-Language-Hearing

Participants are invited to the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to learn about the field of speech-language pathology and audiology, the impacts of communication disorders acquired after stroke/brain injury, and the normal aging effects on hearing and communication. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with speech-language pathologists and audiologists, view hearing aids and instrumentation used in hearing assessments, and tour one of the largest labs in the region dedicated to the latest computer technology and software for individuals with communication disorders.


Constructing Distrust: The Aftermath of African-American Encounters with Police

  • Don Haider-Markel, Professor, Political Science

Police traffic stops are one of the most prevalent direct encounters between citizens and state power. However, very little research examines how these stops are perceived by drivers or how driver race shapes perceptions of these stops. Our research explores African-American confidence in police and political institutions and how these attitudes are shaped by the direct and indirect experiences of individual African-American encounters with police.


Creative Writing: Poetry and Music

  • Brian Daldorph, Associate Professor, English

Associate Professor Brian Daldorph will conduct a creative writing session for students, using songs and music as inspiration for their writing. Music has been a vital part of his creative writing classes over the years. The class will include a number of writing exercises, and sharing and discussing our work.


Dangerous Genes: The Molecular Basis of Cancer

  • Rob Weaver, Associate Dean, Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Cancer is a genetic disease. That is, mutations in a few key genes can turn a normal cell into a life-threatening cancer cell that has lost control of its own reproduction. Scientists have identified two classes of genes that are especially important in the cancer process: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This session will look at several examples of each of these gene classes and discuss how they get mutated, how they contribute to cancer, and how knowledge of their roles can help us control the disease.


Darwin, the Fossil Record, and Evolution

  • Bruce S. Lieberman, Professor, Geology

This class will focus on what the study of the fossil record and the history of life have taught us about evolution. Using accessible examples covering the Cambrian radiation, mass extinctions, and other topics, Professor Lieberman will consider how our understanding of evolution has changed since Darwin’s day, and specifically focus on what studies of the fossil record indicate about Darwin’s ideas as presented in his epochal book “On the Origin of Species."


Democracy is Not a Fragile Flower: Reagan at Westminster and the End of the Cold War

  • Robert Rowland, Professor, Communication Studies

On June 8, 1982 at Westminster, Ronald Reagan confidently predicted that the West was winning the Cold War and that the Soviet Union would end up in the "ash heap" of history. He also announced a campaign to encourage the development of democratic institutions in the world and argued that the battle of ideas would ultimately decide the Cold War. At the time, the speech was widely criticized as wishful thinking, but less than a decade after it was presented all of Reagan's predictions had come true. In this talk, Professor Rowland explains how this address at Westminster embodied Reagan's larger strategy for winning the Cold War, based in the primacy of ideas, not weapons. That strategy was reflected in this address when he said, "democracy is not a fragile flower," but "still it needs cultivating."


Designing New Biomolecules

  • John Karanicolas, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences

In the past 10 years, it has become possible to leverage our increasing understanding of the structural properties that govern protein function for computationally designing proteins with new functions, including some never before seen in nature. This session will cover first the underlying biochemical theory, and then how computers contribute to the design process. It will highlight specific examples of successful designs along the way, and conclude by discussing what the future holds for this field.


EpiGenetics: you are what you eat (and what your mother and father ate)

  • Lisa Timmons, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Geneticists study the nature of genes and how specific mutations affect health. In the epigenetics field, researchers study how DNA is packaged in the chromosome, and how the packaging state of a non-mutated gene affects its function. Cellular epigenetic mechanisms are fundamental for proper chromosome functioning, are influenced by diet and other environmental conditions, and have been linked to a number of disease states, including cancer. Epigenetics studies have led to the development of RNA interference (RNAi) technologies that allow researchers to silence the expression of a specific gene at will. This technology has profound implications in treatment of disease in humans and organisms of agricultural importance.


Ethical Issues in Medical Research

  • Don Marquis, Professor, Philosophy

Most people think that patient participation in medical research is good for patients because it provides them with an opportunity to receive cutting-edge treatments. Sometimes this is true. But there are medical situations in which there seems to be a conflict between the rights of patients and medical progress. What is the right view to take in these situations?


Evening Event: Film Screening and Discussion: Let's Go with Pancho Villa

  • Danny Anderson, Dean, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Evolution of Human Diseases

  • Jim Mielke, Associate Dean, Professor of Anthropology

What diseases affected our ancient ancestors, and how do we know? When did epidemic diseases arise, how did they affect historical populations, and when (and why) did they decline? Diseases discussed will include smallpox, syphilis, and Kuru.


Exploring the Kansas Landscape Through Watercolor, Part 2*

  • Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Visual Art Education

Ever been interested in trying watercolor but just didn’t know how to start? Did you know that watercolors were often carried with explorers to document new lands and discoveries? In these sessions, we’ll take a field trip to paint landscapes and return to the studio to complete larger versions. You will learn basic watercolor techniques, explore the landscape, and find out about other Kansas artists who use the land as inspiration. *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


Exploring the Kansas Landscape Through Watercolor: Part 1*

  • Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Visual Art Education

Ever been interested in trying watercolor but just didn’t know how to start? Did you know that watercolors were often carried with explorers to document new lands and discoveries? In these sessions, we’ll take a field trip to paint landscapes and return to the studio to complete larger versions. You will learn basic watercolor techniques, explore the landscape, and find out about other Kansas artists who use the land as inspiration. *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


Film Screening: "From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Center"

  • Matthew Jacobson, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies
  • Kevin Willmott, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies

From Sundance filmmakers and KU Professors Kevin Willmott and Matt Jacobson, "From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Center" is an oral history of the desegregation of medical care in Kansas City, as told by the people who made it happen. Through interviews and historical footage, the film examines what segregated medical care was like in the early 20th Century, and how it slowly changed with the times into its modern form.


Generational Differences in the Workplace: Are They Real? So What?

  • Tracy Russo, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

The popular press is awash with books that claim the source of many frustrations and problems in the workplace result from inherent differences between generations of workers. Most people can tell stories about unprepared, impolite, and distracted young people at work or about stubborn, old-fashioned, and non-technical older people. Are these differences attributable to generations, or can other factors explain the phenomenon? How might we use various explanations for the differences to help organizations and their members have productive and civil workplaces?


Genetic Screening and the Transformation of Personalized Medicine

  • Stuart Macdonald, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Dr. Macdonald will discuss the idea of personalized medicine, and how the health care community benefits from genetic information when assessing an individual's risk for disease. He will discuss the kinds of experiments scientists are carrying out to identify those DNA variants that increase/decrease disease risk and influence the response to therapeutic drugs. Finally, he will describe progress toward translating this work to the clinic.


Grazia Deledda, Nobel Prize Winning Italian Author: an Extraordinary Life

  • Jan Kozma, Professor, French and Italian

Grazia Deledda was born in Sardinia in 1871. She was raised in a backwater town on one of the most primitive islands in the western world, where women were not allowed out of the house without a male escort from the family. She was allowed only a 3rd grade education. Yet, Deledda eventually published 35 Italian novels in her career. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926. There was no reason for her to have registered any success, but her biography reveals an extraordinary person who led a truly extraordinary life.


Imagining Evita: Myths and Realities about Female Power in Latin America

  • Jill Kuhnheim, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

When the movie "Evita" came out in the 1990s, the mythification of Eva Peron reached its apex. Like Mexico's Frida Kahlo, people with little other knowledge of Argentine culture know something about her and her life. By focusing on how Eva Peron has been represented in both fiction and film, Dr. Kuhnheim will discuss how she offers another possibility to talk about a range of issues: women’s roles in Argentina, Latin America, and the US; politics in Argentina; and the relationships between history, fiction, legend, and myth. She will conclude by analyzing why her figure has so much symbolic resonance in Argentina and how it may relate to issues surrounding Argentina’s current female president.


James Frey and the Importance of Putting Books on the Right Shelves

  • Dave Tell, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

The class will focus on the 2006 controversy over James Frey's false memoir "A Million Little Pieces." Although the discussion will focus on Frey, examples will be provided from throughout American history about what happens when people argue over questions of classification. It will be a detail-rich story of the fate of confession in 20th century America.


KU, Geography and Nuclear Energy: One Jayhawk's Experience

  • George Pangburn, University of Kansas Alum

George will talk about his experience from attending KU in the 1970s to pursue a graduate degree in geography and how that contributed to a career in the regulation of nuclear energy at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. His lecture will provide insights into how nuclear energy is regulated, focusing on applications that touch our daily lives, such as medical diagnosis and treatment. In addition, he will provide some “war stories” that give insights into dealing with the public in licensing controversial facilities.


Little Germanies of Kansas

  • William Keel, Professor, Germanic Languages and Literatures

Over a third of Kansans claim German ancestry. German-speaking immigrants have found new homes in Kansas since the 1850s. From the territorial period through the building of the transcontinental railroads across the state, Germans played a significant role in the economic and cultural development of the state. Kansas boast settlements of Germans from Russia, Hungary, Switzerland, Bukovina as well as directly from Germany. Others came from German settlements in the eastern U.S. to Kansas, such as the Pennsylvania-Dutch Eisenhower family. With these immigrants came their many German dialects, still remembered to some degree spoken into the 21st century. This class will offer an overview of the history of Kansas from the perspective of German settlement and the contributions of these Germans to the cultural fabric of the state.


Memory and Aging: Healthy vs. Pathological Aging

  • David K. Johnson, Assistant Professor, Psychology and Gerontology

Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States, yet few people know and understand the specific mental health issues that complicate successful aging. This lecture reviews the prevalence and symptoms of common disorders of aging including anxiety, depression, delirium, and dementia. Particular focus will be given to the multiple types of dementia, their symptoms, and how they are diagnosed and treated.


Muslim Women Re-presenting Islam in America

  • Beverly Mack, Professor, African and African-American Studies

In the category of stand-up comics, Muslim women do not usually come to mind. How about as performers on the Def Poetry circuit in New York? Or as beauty pageant queens? Astronauts? Tae Kwon Do experts? Surfers, in full hijab? As elected president of the Islamic Society of North America? Muslim women’s rights to education and equality were explained in the seventh century Qur’anic revelations, and subsequently restricted almost universally in patriarchal societies all over the non-Western world. Although patriarchy has diminished women’s opportunities in many cultures, Muslim women, nevertheless, have been activists and scholars since the inception of Islam. Muslim women are increasingly evident in the arts, education, social welfare, and community development, and are consciously engaged in bringing Islam back to the ideals on which it was founded. Learn how “Islam is a thinking chick’s religion!”


Nine Things You Don't Know About the Dole Institute: An Insider's Perspective

  • Bill Lacy, Director, Dole Institute of Politics

The Dole Institute of Politics has hosted hundreds of public programs since its dedication in 2003. Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries of State, international leaders, strategists and journalists regularly come to KU to appear there. Join Director Bill Lacy as he takes you behind the scenes and shows you how the Dole Institute approaches public programming, gets these extraordinary guests on campus and structures entertaining and educational programs.


On Being and Becoming a "Total Woman:" Bestsellers on Marriage and Femininity from the 1970s

  • Jennifer Heller, Lecturer, Humanities & Western Civilization

In her 1973 bestseller, "The Total Woman," a Miami homemaker and born-again Christian, Marabel Morgan, encouraged readers to spice up their marriages by daring to be submissive. Women, she wrote, should cater to their husbands’ needs, whether in “sex, salads, or sports.” Morgan became the face of what the media liked to label the “anti-feminist” movement. But did she consider herself anti-feminist? What happened to her and the dozens of best-selling women authors who helped build the contemporary religious publishing industry with their advice on marriage and femininity?


Out to the Ball Game: Reading Baseball in American Literature and Culture

  • James Carothers, Professor, English

At one extreme, baseball is a game for children, and at the other extreme, a highly competitive economic enterprise. In between it provides a sustaining mythology for Americans with its heroes, underdogs, history, and humor. More has been written about baseball than about any other subject of comparable significance in American history, considering journalism, sports history, biography, autobiography, statistics, fiction, poetry, drama, and folklore. Most of this writing is not only forgettable, but already forgotten. Yet some texts endure and prevail, engaging, entertaining, and enlightening new readers in each generation. This class will look at examples from some of these texts, and consider the kinds of research and writing about baseball going on now.


Picturing the National Narratives of North Korea

  • Marsha Haufler, Associate Dean, Professor of Art History

Since the 1960s, mosaic murals have been part of the vast cultural project of creating socialism with national characteristics in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). North Korean artists combined Soviet mosaic technology subjects and styles drawn from the art of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and domesticated these elements to create an art form unique in East Asia. In recent years, mosaic production has been ramped up, and numerous, huge mosaic pictures of leaders have been set up all over the country. This class will look at the full range of mosaics that tell the story of the DPRK according to Kim family.


Prints as Sculpture

  • Shawn Bitters, Assistant Professor, Visual Art

Since the advent of Post Modernism a wide range of artists have produced work that blurs the boundaries between traditional art mediums. We will discuss the link between the disciplines of printmaking and sculpture through a presentation of Professor Bitters' current research into the creation of three-dimensional work out of hand-printed paper. This course will include both a lecture and a demonstration of the basic screen-printing (silkscreen) process.


Religion in Kansas

  • Tim Miller, Professor, Religious Studies

Kansas religion spans the national religious gamut, with a wide range of denominations and movements present, including quite a few that are little known even in their own backyards. The Religion in Kansas Project, whose researchers are KU undergraduate and graduate students, seeks to document and preserve the religious history of the state through the collection of oral histories, documents, and artifacts. This illustrated presentation will feature some of the groups the project has brought to light, from Swedenborgians to Lawsonians to the Church of God and Saints of Christ.


Removing Dry-Cleaning Fluid 'Stains' in Water with Rust

  • J. F. Devlin, Associate Professor, Geology

The majority of liquid fresh water on planet Earth is stored in the ground as groundwater. Hidden from view, it flows slowly and inexorably from the continental high ground toward the oceans. Because it is so quiet, hidden, and ubiquitous, it is treated carelessly. Among the most common industrial pollutants are organic chemicals like dry cleaning fluids. Research at KU is investigating the rusting of iron by these chemicals as means of cleaning groundwater inexpensively.


Second Life and the Art Museum

  • Jessica Lea Johnson, Project Coordinator at the Spencer Museum of Art

Explore ways to expand critical thinking and bridge disciplines through art and technology. Join Spencer Museum of Art project coordinator Jessica Lea Johnson on a tour of the museum's space in the virtual world of Second Life. The Spencer’s Second Life island is an exploratory, fluid space made possible through the generosity of a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The museum's investigation into the potential applications of virtual worlds in an art-museum setting presents a spectrum of possibilities.


Sigmund Freud: Renegade or Genius?

  • Jerry Masinton, Professor Emeritus, English

Sigmund Freud has been kicked out of psychology departments. Psychologists and mental-health professionals consider his work unscientific: there's no way to validate or invalidate his extravagant claims. Freud nevertheless has pervaded our culture. It's impossible to ignore his influence. Professor Jerry Masinton will discuss some of the major ways that Freud's thinking still shapes our own thinking about history, art, literature, and of course the mind.


Six Degrees of Separation: How everything in nature (and your mind) is connected

  • Michael Vitevitch, Associate Professor, Psychology

Many people have experienced the situation in which they meet a complete stranger who knows someone that you know; often one of you notes that, “small world!” This seemingly quirky coincidence does not happen by accident. Recent work by scientists from a variety of fields has found that many complex systems (including predators and prey in an ecosystem, the nation-wide power grid, the relationships among friends, and many other systems) are structured in such a way to make such “small-world” experiences more, not less, common. This session will explore some of the tools used in the “new science of network” to examine how various systems are organized. It will also consider how those structures influence the interactions that occur within those systems.


Sources of Nature in the Visual Arts

  • Celka Straughn, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs, Spencer Museum of Art

What are some of the relationships between art and the natural world? How does nature inform the visual arts, and in what ways do art works give meaning to nature? Focusing on specific works in the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art, such as Bernard Palissy’s "Rustic Basin" (c. 1570-90) or Grant Wood’s "Near Sundown" (1933), this session explores various questions and ways of understanding some of the many connections and ideas about art and nature across different historical and cultural moments.


Spotlight on Major Collections at the Spencer Museum of Art

  • Steve Goddard, Senior Curator, Spencer Museum of Art
  • Amanda Martin-Hamon, Coordinator, Spencer Museum of Art Docent Program & Public Outreach

With a collection of over 36,000 objects spanning thousands of years and much of the globe, the Spencer Museum of Art has the astute eye and generosity of many collectors in which to be thankful. Highlighting the foundational collections of Sally Casey Thayer and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the more recent donation of 50 works from the modern collection of Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, this presentation will uncover the fascinating stories and circumstances of these important gifts and the collectors who assembled them.


Strategies for Enhancing Brain Function

  • Stephen Ilardi, Associate Professor, Psychology

Every thought, feeling, impulse, and desire arises from the activity of a mysterious 3-pound organ aptly dubbed "the most complex object in the known universe." As the brain slowly yields its secrets to the advances of neuroscience, researchers have discovered numerous ways in which each of us can enhance the functioning of our own brains - with a corresponding increase in mental clarity and psychological well-being. This lecture will review the most effective strategies discovered on this front thus far, with a focus on how to put them into practice.


The Faces of History: Exploring the Biopic as Fact and Fiction

  • John C. Tibbetts, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies

Much of what we know about the great figures in music, art, politics, sports, and science comes from the proliferation of screen biopics. This presentation will discuss the many controversies surrounding this form of historiography and the multiple levels of history they display. Film clips will be shown.


The Hobbit Tale

  • David Frayer, Professor, Anthropology

Discoveries from the Liang Bua cave on Flores Island (Indonesia) have been described as representing a species of miniature humans surviving in isolation for more than 100,000 years until they went extinct about 12,000 years ago. These discoveries, commonly referred to as "hobbits," have great importance for models in paleoanthropology involving brain size and intelligence, adaptations to islands, the effect of isolation and endemism along with more general ideas about the course of human evolution. Conclusions about the fossils are controversial and alternate interpretations contradict the idea that the specimens from the site represent a new species.


The Joy of Drawing: An Introduction, Part 1*

  • Carol Ann Carter, Professor, Visual Art

If you’ve always wanted to draw, join us for a relaxed, hands-on and engaging introductory still life drawing session. The instructor will introduce basic tools, subject matter and strategies students employ to develop images and compositions. Exercises include examples and demonstrations. Come and explore your hidden creative instincts! *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


The Joy of Drawing: An Introduction, Part 2*

  • Carol Ann Carter, Professor, Visual Art

If you’ve always wanted to draw, join us for a relaxed, hands-on and engaging introductory still life drawing session. The instructor will introduce basic tools, subject matter and strategies students employ to develop images and compositions. Exercises include examples and demonstrations. Come and explore your hidden creative instincts! *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


The Knowledge Frontier: Where is it? How do we get there?

  • Leonard Krishtalka, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of Biodiversity Institute

Ever since humans evolved on Earth, our survival has demanded the discovery and management of knowledge. Surviving the 21st century demands arduous expeditions to new knowledge frontiers nothing short of managing a small planet. Science alone will not succeed. Crossing and integrating the frontiers of knowledge to solve the grand challenges facing humanity will require the intimate teaming of science, art, humanities, engineering and every other human enterprise. Can universities be at the forefront of reaching the knowledge frontier? Not unless they reinvent themselves.


The Mainstreaming of American Indian Literature

  • Stephen Evans, Lecturer, English

Stephen Evans will discuss the growing body of scholarship on American Indian literature, including his own published research on the work of Sherman Alexie, who for the last 20 years has been the "brightest star" in American Indian literature and film. Evans will also include in the presentation excerpts from two of Alexie's award-winning films, "Smoke Signals" and "The Business of Fancydancing."


The Samoan Heir's Bodacious Captive: An Evolutionary Account of the Fantasies Entertained by Socially Dominant Women

  • Patricia Hawley, Associate Professor, Psychology

This class will address forceful submission fantasies in men and women. Although many approaches implicitly or explicitly cast women’s force fantasies in a pathological light, this work seeks to explore the associations of such fantasy to female power. By adopting an evolutionary meta-theoretical perspective (and a resource control theory perspective), we hypothesized that dominant women would prefer forceful submission fantasies as a means to connect them to dominant men. In addition, we suggest that dominant women ascribe a meaning to the object of the fantasy different from that assigned by subordinate women (i.e., "warrior lover" vs. "white knight"). Three studies were conducted with nearly 900 college students (men and women) from KU. Our hypotheses were largely supported. Forceful submission fantasies appear to reflect desire for sexual power rather than masochism. Implications for evolutionary approaches to human mate preferences will be discussed.


The Scars We Leave Behind: Acknowledging an Alternative Form of Accountability in World Politics

  • Brent Steele, Assistant Professor, Political Science

The prospects for holding the powerful accountable in global politics seem dim. One assumes that due to anarchy the prospects for accountability in world politics are slim because we lack either rules, or an enforcement mechanism, or the will. Even national mechanisms for accountability have proven inadequate to address the problems of recent decades. This lecture examines several domains of 'scarring' to suggest that the scars of violence are their own form of accountability. Several historical illustrations from the 20th and 21st centuries make possible the notion that physical and visually shocking outcomes of violence remain one of our most compelling forms of accountability.


The Science of Sex: The Diversity of Life as Seen Through Reproduction

  • Jennifer Gleason, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Exploding genitals, sexual cannibalism, females with male genitalia, copulation lasting for weeks, males that build attractive lairs with shiny objects: it all exists in animals. Why is there such a diversity of approaches to sexual reproduction? Sexual selection is a powerful force in evolution and has shaped some strange solutions to maximizing individual fitness. Much of the variation in sexual behavior is derived from sexual conflict: the fitness interests of males and females are fundamentally different. The end result is an escalating arms race of manipulation and resistance between the sexes. This lecture will illustrate some of the more amazing aspects of reproductive biology and the theory underlying their evolution. In addition, the evolution of human behavior through sexual selection will be discussed.


Thought Experiments in Ethics

  • Ben Eggleston, Associate Professor, Philosophy

This session will concern the use, in moral philosophy, of hypothetical examples and imaginary scenarios in order to explore the implications of various ethical principles and intuitions. Examples will include diverting a train from one track to another to save lives even though another life will be lost, and taking one person's organs to save five healthy people. Participants will discuss such situations and also reflect on what the point is of thinking about such unlikely scenarios in the first place.


Virtual Reality in Scenic Media

  • Mark Reaney, Professor, Theatre

The University Theatre at KU is a world leader in the practice of using virtual reality simulations or real-time computer graphics as a scenic device for live theatre events. In his presentation, Professor Mark Reaney will show slides and video clips from past theatre productions at KU that used this type of virtual reality simulation as scenery. He will also demonstrate how virtual reality has been used at KU in the planning of more traditional theatre production.


Welcome from the Dean / Orientation

  • Jessica Beeson, CLAS
  • Danny Anderson, Dean, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

What You Always Wanted to Know About Ballet but Were Afraid to Ask, Part 1*

  • Jerel Hilding, Associate Professor, Dance

This course will provide you with an introduction to the basic technical demands of ballet while offering insights into its history, what to look for when watching ballet, and the life of a ballet dancer. You will explore the basic shapes and movements commonly recognized as 'ballet' and learn about the evolution of ballet from the court of Louis XIV to present day. Participants should wear comfortable clothes which allow you to move freely. *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


What You Always Wanted to Know About Ballet but Were Afraid to Ask, Part 2*

  • Jerel Hilding, Associate Professor, Dance

This course will provide you with an introduction to the basic technical demands of ballet while offering insights into its history, what to look for when watching ballet, and the life of a ballet dancer. You will explore the basic shapes and movements commonly recognized as 'ballet' and learn about the evolution of ballet from the court of Louis XIV to present day. Participants should wear comfortable clothes which allow you to move freely. *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.


William James: America's Most Original and Timely Philosopher

  • James Woelfel, Professor Emeritus, Humanities and Western Civilization

2010 is the 100th anniversary of the death of William James (1842-1910), but his ideas remain remarkably contemporary and relevant. A talented artist who chose to study medicine, he went on to become a major influence as a psychologist and a philosopher. It was James who chiefly articulated the meaning and implications of pragmatism, America's most distinctive contribution to philosophy. Trained as a scientist, he became a leading critic of the narrow scientific positivism of his day and argued for a "radical empiricism" that was fully open to experience in all its concreteness and complexity. Deeply interested in religion while confessing that he himself had never had a religious experience, he wrote one of the all-time classics in the study of religion, "The Varieties of Religious Experience."


You Are Not Supposed to Live Past 40: Why is that Good to Know?

  • Dave Ekerdt, Professor, Gerontology

The biological design for longevity outfits humans to live only about half of the biblical four score years. Evolutionary theory is a powerful resource that helps explain why life is as long as it is for all animals, why the young are so healthy (after that, less so), and what much-extended lives would be like. Awareness of the biological limit on longevity, which humans typically exceed anyway, turns out to be an oddly liberating idea.


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RT @KUnews : 🔴#KUfacts 🔵 Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowships provide 5-year, $25,000 stipends and sponsor tuition and fees for top doctoral stu…


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One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times